MN Sinfonia - Music in the Schools

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Minnesota Sinfonia's  Music In the Schools

Music in the Schools (MIS) is a program of education using the arts, and is developed using local and national educational standards as its framework. It is a three-month program that allows teachers to integrate the Sinfonia curriculum and music content into regular classroom activities, and is designed to support required learning in selected core academics (math, literature, history, science and social studies). Each year MIS focuses on a different academic discipline. Examples from recent years include Music Tells a Story (literature with the primary focus being Shakespeare and Tchaikowsky versions of Romeo and Juliet), The Magical Mysteries of Math and Music (which uses Haydn’s Surprise Symphony to help explain a variety of mathematical concepts) and History as Seen Through Music (using Aaron Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait to study the civil war). This Year’s program will be Fairy Tales, a social studies curriculum focusing on both familiar stories (Cinderella and The Emperor’s New

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Clothes), and some lesser known, but equally fascinating tales (Swan Lake and The Magic Flute).  Artistic Director Jay Fishman personally attends staff meetings at each school to introduce the orchestra’s program and curriculum.


On the day of the performance, each classroom hosts a 10-15 minute visit by one of the musicians. This “personal” time lets students bond and get to know the performer as “a regular person” who followed his/her dream to become a professional musician. Following these get together sessions, the Sinfonia performs two 45-minute concerts at each school, one for the primary grades and another for the intermediate. The program includes lively interaction between students and the conductor, along with special guest, African American singer/actor Kathy Hardy. Ms. Hardy adds a sense of magic and enchantment that can only be described as a “marvel.”  School choirs and orchestras also perform with the Sinfonia during these concerts.

In the end, students will have discovered the ways in which music reflects on, reveals, and celebrates the world around them. They will know more about their core academic subjects and about music itself. And they will develop an appreciation for music, and a desire to make it a part of their lives.

Music in the Schools is one of the most creative and important programs of its kind in the entire music industry.